Sleepless Nights headliner Red Meat

A long list of Bay area artists will honor Gram Parsons Saturday at the Great American Music Hall for the “11th Annual Sleepless Nights: A Tribute to Gram Parsons & Cosmic American Music”. Event organizer and member of Sweet Chariot Eric Shea explains what “cosmic American music” meant to Parsons. “Music writers wanted to call him country-rock, but he pushed back and challenged them to listen more closely so they can hear the soul, gospel, Americana, blues and rock that all blended together into one grand sound,” says Shea. “Cosmic American music was his vision of a musical melting pot anchored to the intimacy of front porch hymns, filtered through a kaleidoscopic mangle and played through the heart. All the bands playing this year’s Sleepless Nights do well to exemplify this vision of sound.”

The variety of acts really highlights the breadth of Parsons’ influence on today’s music. Headliner Red Meat plays mostly traditional honky-tonk music in addition to backing the legendary Wanda Jackson when she’s on the West Coast. Grahame Lesh tends to stay on the folk side of things, while no one can pin a genre on Chuck Prophet, who will be performing with his wife Stephanie Finch. Although some of the event’s performers may lean toward one genre or another, none of them fall into a genre pigeonhole Parsons avoided, which should make for a great night of music. Below, you can check out Red Meat playing “Streets of Baltimore”, which was famously covered by Parsons.

11th Annual Sleepless Nights: A Tribute to Gram Parsons & Cosmic American Music
feat. Red Meat, Chuck Prophet & Stephanie Finch, Sweet Chariot, Tarnation, Gypsy Moonlight Band, Deep Ellum, and Grahame Lesh
Great American Music Hall
January 12, 2013
8pm, $13